Monday, February 26, 2007


So Helen Mirren won, looked unbelievably great - no surprises there.

Marty, Marty, WHAT eyebrows you have. Truly spectacular.

Yes, Oscars came and went. We had a fair sprinkling snow last night, which has already almost entirely melted, which meant that all the taxis were gone at about 12.20 this morning, as everyone left Oscar parties and realised they really didn't want to walk anywhere. We settled for subway and ended up home just after one. True, this is probably not interesting to you, but is leading up to the confession that I nearly assaulted almost everyone coming out of Starbucks this morning, so good did their coffee smell. Instead, I am drinking "a flavorful [sic - in more ways than one] blend of orange and spice" and trying not to think about latte, espresso or good old cafe con leche.

It's hard.

Nonetheless, my spirit, if not the flesh, is revived by the thought of all the GoFug Joy to come after last night's awards - Gwyneth, if you are not pilloried by the girls, they are losing their grip on reality. Cannot wait.

Friday, February 23, 2007


And so, as must all things come to pass, The O.C. died last night. What makes it particularly poignant is that I didn't even notice. It wasn't in the diary as a must-see - the last. ever. OC.

Instead, I got home and frantically watched Grey's to see if Meredith was to die. Sadly, she didn't. That was disappointing.

Anyway, the wondrous Gawker had this, strangely straight and not cynical review of the last ever episode, which points out just why it was great and how it had become bloated and, quite frankly, rubbish. Although I am a tad disappointed, I must confess, that the review wasn't just a bit snarkier (in its normally gloriously snarky way). I think what really made the programme rubbish was its failure to keep Julie Cooper as the truly brilliant, yet understandable, villain she was in the first series. As TWoP says, Team Julie Forever!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


This year I again mean to start the ritual of giving something up for Lent. Not that I got ashes, or owt like that. However, I can't help thinking it's good to do without, for a while. Therefore, I am almost entirely going without caffeine for the next thirty nine days. I say almost because I don't want to give up my tea in the morning. And I refuse to do without chocolate, particularly as we have some scrummy Godiva chocolates in our fridge at the mo.

However, no coke/doctor pepper/coffee.


It must be said, this is not entirely to test my resolve / willpower / feel the power of sacrifice. Factored in must be the SUFFERING at the hands of caffeine that I have experienced in the last few days.

And maybe I'll have a few extra bucks to give to charity at the end of the month.

I'm all heart, me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Conjugal Rights & Rites

Marriage, marriage, marriage. It's everywhere here, right now, due to the New Jersey legislature giving gay couples union rights, but not marriage.

We had a long talk with friends at dinner last night about what that meant, precisely. Why not the word marriage? Is it simply that it's a religious thing? If so, why do you have to register your marriage separately if you get married in a Hindu ceremony, for example? Therefore, maybe we should separate out the church's and the state's role in sanctioning a union. Nonetheless, I can't help thinking that behind this is actually the belief that gay unions are somehow "lesser" than straight unions.

Anyway, I then read the G2 this morning and found this horror of an article about men asking permission from their future fathers-in-law for the hand of their daughter. Some of my political concerns about marriage stem from the ongoing idea of "property", and this article tapped straight into those fears. Why is asking a father "about respect"? If it's about a parent's relationship with his daughter, what about a mother's relationship? Why isn't she asked? Because she's his property, obviously. Any other answers...? Postcards to the usual address...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Yesterday, I made a rather stupid decision, which was to have three cups of coffee between the hours of 5 and 5.45pm. Foolishness, yes. Well, dear readers, I am paying for it now.

You see, caffeine in that sort of quantity, and after 6pm, usually (think severe effects were due to sheer amount consumed), doesn't keep me awake in the way it does with others. No, I get to sleep more or less fine. What I then do is wake up, every couple of hours, all night, finding it immensely difficult to get back to sleep. Which is, of course, exactly what happened last night. I was very sensitive to noise, so the thumping and bass from downstairs was particularly effective in waking me.

Yet the real impact of the sleepless night has only just surfaced. Right now. One of my real foibles is that I cannot bear to hear other people eating. I find it disgusting and irritating. This is not a ridiculous phobia--I don't think I'm the only one. However, I am extremely oversensitive; the day after very little sleep, unbelievably so. Whoever left the popping candy sweethearts in the office today is lucky I do not know who they are and that I do not have some sort of sharp weaponry (or, indeed, a tomato ketchup & mustard uzi). I have also developed an irrational hatred for someone I've never talked to, whose existence I was only made aware of on Thursday.

Today is one of those days that I really shouldn't be allowed to have contact with other living creatures.

Monday, February 19, 2007


I have done some work.

I have also done further procrastinating. For proof, please see my latest post on, which is another Shuffletastic journey through my, thankfully, resurrected Pod of i. I owed it to the little one's miraculous coming-back-to-life to write this post.

Honestly, I did. It wouldn't have been right not to.

I knew I would

Today was a prime opportunity to do tons of work, at home all day. Instead, I managed to put the washing away, listened to quite a few podcasts, had soup and coffee with a friend, and that's it. Oops.

Instead of now starting work, I'm watching the marathon How Clean Is Your House? Oops. It makes me feel better - our house is not always sparkling, but seriously... It's really not that bad, either, it appears.

Still, time to start working - better late than never, eh?

Friday, February 16, 2007


Dear All,

I have decided to start up my new, unbelievably brilliant Cultural Hall of Shame. It's a confessional therapy site dedicated to a) releasing us from the shame of admitting, for example, that one never made it through to the end of Jane Eyre / only read the penguin shortened version of Clarissa (and watched it on TV, remember!) and b) working our way through the classics with the intention of also reducing our cultural shame and c) providing a movie list for when we FINALLY finish the Coens Season. You know who you are.

Some of you have been invited to contribute.

Others, not - due to incompetence / overlooking / me not wanting you.

If I have somehow forgotten you, please let me know.

Dating of the Up

Or, rather, the down. For 'tis true, it appears that the pod is (whisper it)... dead. It's refusing to charge up at all, despite using nice new cables and the wall plug, rather than the computer.

I'm not hopeful.

It's been with me a long time, and has chartered the path from luddite to apple-loving woman. I feel more complete, now that I have it and cherish it.


UPDATE AT 4.20pm, FRIDAY 16TH: Apparently, just like with Frankenstein, it's ALIVE! Still, we're not out of the woods yet. At least party playlist formation can take place instead of work tomorrow...

In other news, I finally finished this book in time for bookclub this week. Random Family was a harrowing story of lives which, in comparison to my fairly regimented childhood, seem disordered, chaotic. I think it was troubling in other ways, though - as always where the author has shadowed "real people", I wonder how informed their consent to being depicted can actually be. On the other hand, how often would a girl like Coco be the major character in a book? This was telling the story of lives that would otherwise seem unremarkable, despite their poverty, trauma and drama. I suppose... in a way I'm uncomfortable that it takes a white person to draw attention to a Puerto Rican community. I'm not sure why - I suppose I wonder how much legitimacy or attention it would be given otherwise. I hope I'm wrong. I also find it interesting how she gained so much trust when she was clearly an outsider, and generally contact with outsiders did not go well. I'd really love to hear more from the author and, particularly, from her subjects, as to what they feel about the experience.

In more good news, finishing it means that I have started on my Dickens for this winter. It's also a book that needs to go into the HALL OF SHAME (Great Expectations). I'm going to start my Hall of Shame very soon. Which famous (nay, classic / indispensable) tracts have you never read and are ashamed to admit it? Which movies haven't you watched that you REALLY are embarrassed to say you haven't? Next post on this...

This week I passed through 5,000 songs on my listening. Unbelievable. My top ten artists is not ordered how I would have predicted, but according to that listening system, are:

1) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
2) Underworld
3) Thievery Corporation
4) Jamie Lidell
5) John Legend
6) Radiohead
7) MC Solaar
8) Lupe Fiasco
9) The Future Sound of London
10) Zero 7

Weird indeed. Working on removing zero 7.

And in televisual news, I've decided that I do indeed like The Sopranos, having started watching it, finally (albeit it with horrendously offputting dubbing - I'm sure that Tony just said "Up yours" A&E - good work!) and it's excellent. Slightly alarmed by the (lack of) length of Dr. Melfi's skirts--they're great legs, must be said, but still... surprised--but other than that, it's grand. New addiction could be coming on: need to get netflix up and running...

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Disaster strikes.

My iPod has FROZEN.




Wednesday, February 14, 2007

House Arrest

I am paralysed this morning. I normally find it difficult to stir my stumps to get dressed--so I often am up early, but stuck in front of whatever dreadful rubbish is on the tv (although this morning it's one of my favourite episodes of Dawson's EVER - the Witch Island one where Pacey and Jen are fabulous, Dawson & Joey, unsurprisingly, extraordinarily annoying).

However, today I feel I have a real excuse for my inability to move. Freezing rain is pounding down outside. You can hear the hail. And if the NY1 says it, it's officially horrible.

It's also below freezing again.

Nothing like this weather for romance. No, I'm serious. You can huddle together in the warmth. Go get your VD condoms, New Yorkers!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Last night's Grammys seem to have put us in contemplative mood: the other half and I have been discussing top albums of 2006. Unbelievable that I haven't really done that here, yet... but shall. And, of course, duplicate it on my musical websites...

In no particular order, my albums of 2006 are:

1) Lupe Fiasco's Wine and Liquor Store - Lupe Fiasco. It's conscious, sweet, and lovely. From the heartbreak of He Said, She Said (trying to get an absent dad to play an active role in a kid's life) to the unexpected joys of courtship over skateboards in Kick, Push, this is a lovely hip hop album. How this didn't win at the grammys last night... boooooooo!

2) Alright, Still - Lily Allen. Funny, smart, and, as a dear friend said, what you'd imagine an album by Rose from Doctor Who would sound like. It makes me think of tons of girls I grew up with, which is a good thing.

3) We are the Infadels - Infadels. A good chum described this as "like LCD soundsystem - but less subtle" and I agree, although I actually think I prefer this album. Makes me want to dance, which is all you can ask for...

4) Once Again - John Legend. Sensual, unusual, this is gorgeous. I love the first album, I love this one... A review said that on "Show Me" he sounds almost Jeff Buckley-esque, a high tribute no less, and true... and that is my favourite song, I think - always makes my spine tingle.

5) St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley. Gets better and better the more you listen to it...


This is harder... because there were quite a few genius tunes this year. Off the top of my head, though, I'd go for:

1) Crazy - Gnarls Barkley - because it's still brilliant, no matter how many times you hear it.
2) Rehab - Amy Winehouse (although You Know I'm No Good is up there, too)
3) Baggage - Mary J Blige - everyone goes on about Be Without You, but this is classic MJB dance track, love it, love it, love it - makes me want to get on the dancefloor IMMEDIATELY.
4) Smile - Lily Allen - because it does what it says on the tin. And I'd rather she were the internet phenomenon than stupid Sandi Thom. And as long as no one's listening to James Blunt. Just thought I'd add that.
5) Just - Mark Ronson feat. Alex Greenwald - brilliant song anyway, and wound up the indie kids something chronic ("but you can't touch Radiohead") - fab.
6) Get Em High - Stanton Warriors feat. Sway - this was bought by accident, in the Tower Records meltdown/closing down sale... and is a great album (just outside top 5, I'd say) - and I love Sway. Another good album last year.
7) Get Myself Into It - The Rapture. Just because it made me want to dance...
8) Giddy Stratospheres - The Long Blondes. Sheffield's finest, along with all the others... this album made a late charge in my affections, and I think is brilliant (another top 10 contender).
9) Juicebox - The Strokes. Not a great album, but I love this song - makes me want to shake myself stupid, which I only don't do for fear of injuring my neck somehow.
10) Put Your Hands Up For Detroit - Fedde Le Grand. Just because it was the tune for the Soccer AM danceoff this year, and that means I will always giggle when I hear it...

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Yesterday I made the fatal error of thinking I could "just pick up some sausages" from Whole Foods. Foolishness. I had been lulled into that by I'm not sure what... forgetfulness, lunacy, or indeed the very good experience I had there earlier this week when buying an orchid - the flower lady was fabulous, orchid beautiful, all well and good.

* Apologies to those who have heard some format of this rant before. I thought I'd got it off my chest, but apparently not.

Nonetheless, yet again I went and yet again I ending up swearing to myself that NEVER AGAIN would I step foot in that stupid, stupid, stupid supermarket. Here's a blow-by-blow account of my time there:

8.05pm: Enter behind girl wearing ridiculous pageboy hat. Vow to not ever think I'll look good in one of those, no matter how long I live in NYC.

8.08pm: Get stuck trying to pass the deli counter where woman stands in middle of aisle and refuses to move.

8.11pm: Find veggie sausages. Get sausages from deli. Instead of three, get four meat ones because other half normally grumbles about too few sausages. Brilliant - in and out so quickly, a miracle.

8.12pm: Walk to the checkouts. Look somewhat in disbelief at the queue snaking back to the muffin carousel. Realise that yes, this is the "express" checkout.

8.15pm: Fume inwardly at the stupid people in front of me who clearly have more than 10 items in their trolleys. Daydream about confronting them and their inability to count. Realise what I am doing and loathe myself for what I have allowed Whole Foods to make me become.

8.16pm: Notice that Whole Foods management actually knows that it is "10 items or fewer"- internally commend them for this fact.

8.17pm: Continue to fume at the people in front who CLEARLY have more than 10 items.

8.19pm: Note the incredibly nice and VERY high-heeled shoes two people manage to shop in. Am wearing scuzzy trainers, as always.

8.25pm: Fume as realise that lady with HUGE amounts of collagen in her lips and who is in the large baskets queue, having arrived at the same time as me, is going to leave Whole Foods a good twenty minutes before me.

8.28pm: Longingly look at the ginger Green & Black's chocolate, only to remember that they are owned by Nestlé and I don't buy Nestlé products. Damn stupid consumer boycotts and "ethics".

8.35pm: Wonder what Jaime Pressly did to get on the front of Wine Connoisseur monthly, or whatever it's called.

8.36pm: Feel highly smug that the very very beautiful and impeccably dressed couple in front of me don't recognise Jaime Pressley. Feel very very very dirty for what I've become.

8.38pm: Wonder who exactly buys Shambhala Sun magazine.

8.41pm: Get text message from friend confirming that in fact other friend is in town and having dinner with us. Lose will to live at the thought of leaving the queue again, decided everyone will have to make do with two sausages each.

8.45pm: get directed to a counter by someone who could well be only half my age.

8.46pm: manage to get change from a $20 that includes Andrew Jackson. This hitherto mythical event somewhat dampened by fact that am so flustered to get out of Whole Foods--due to their rapid pressing of the next-customer-flashing-light-thing and how annoying it is to wait in the queue--that throw money everywhere. Oops.

8.47pm: ESCAPE TO COLUMBUS CIRCLE. Vow never to set foot in whole foods ever again at the weekend. Go home and moan and moan about this to people who are kind enough to put up with my moaning.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


If you are feeling vaguely grumpy, look at these. Seriously, seriously, seriously... There is NO WAY you can be in a bad mood afterwards.

Or after looking at these...

Friday, February 09, 2007

32 is the magic number

Yes it is.

A friend went to university in Minnesota and told me how, during winter, everyone would wear shorts and flipflops when the temperature finally got up to 32F. Yep, that is freezing. Minnesota natives (I know a surprisingly large number) have confirmed this strange habit.

Well, I thought it was strange. However, it's now been over a week without the temperature rising above zero (celsius). On seeing that, according to the NY1, it might today get above that level, I now understand the joy of some relative warmth. Not enough to wear flipflops - it's still flipping cold. We also have the windchill factor and I'm down at South Ferry at the bottom of the island which is GENUINELY much colder than the rest of NYC (water, wind tunnels, unpleasant - and in summer, a hazard for dress/skirt wearers).

Plus, I feel completely nesh when I look at the current temperatures and current windchills round the country... it's COLD out there. Still, I feel utterly justified in cooking a warming tomato pasta dish and watching a video tonight...

PS I re-watched The Philadelphia Story for the UMPTEENTH time last night... There really is no other film to match it for wit (and casual or not-so-casual misogyny). New favourite line: I'd sell my grandmother for one. And you know how much I love my grandmother.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


... should never strike twice, and you should also never post twice in a day unless it's REALLY essential.

Luckily, it is.

I nearly cried when I watched these - MUCH better than reading the Supreme Court's ridiculous gender-biased decisions... trust me.

Plus, the wiki-fascists are going to be up in arms over this - get it while it's hot!


Tonight is the law school prom. Yep, for the second year running, I am going to prom with my dearest as my date. No corsage or rohypnol, though, so not really authentic prom.

Being an all-girls' school, and very jolly hockey stick, we didn't do anything like this - prom, homecoming, nothing. It's probably a good thing - it was bruising enough to deal with adolescence, I didn't really need to go through popularity contests either... not to any more than I was already subjected...

In other news: if lawyering fails, I'd quite like to be a translator. Need to improve the old Spanish, obviously, but I think that'd do a service.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Today, I actually do have stuff to say but need to process my thoughts more as to my trip to Housing Court... so instead, I'm stealing shamelessly from a dear birdie I know (who, in turn, steals from my favourite cebolla), and shuffle, shuffle, shuffling...

1. I am a Woman - Peggy Lee. Peggy Lee has the most amazing voice, and I didn't even, it must be said, realise I had this on my Pod of i. We only tend to know about Fever, and that's it, but this is great - talking about all the stuff that a woman does, and how capable she is. Shame it's framed about, you know, cooking and cleaning, but it's a way of enhancing those things that people take for granted and devalue - to show just how women's work is worth so much more than people give credit.

2. Watching Windows - Roni Size meets Nuyorican Soul. Drum'n'bass... what happened to you? People still go out to dance to it, apparently. We even listened to last year's "best dnb album", according to some dance mag... (Pendulum, Hold your Colour, if you're interested). I still actually, occasionally, listen to New Sounds. But it all feels so... old. Or, rather, I do. It is so tied to my time at undergrad - and it was EVERYWHERE there - and my realising that I could perhaps even dance, albeit to a limited range of music. I feel I've... evolved... but this is a good remix, too long, but the first five mins or so are great. And if you want a remix, MAW is the way forward...

3. Trouble in the Message Centre - Blur. Parklife was so completely and utterly important to me - as were Blur - it's hard to possibly convey it to you. It's probably not very good, but it hits me in the solar plexus, just sings in my blood when I hear it. It's so hard to untie the quality of the song from who I was when I used to listen to this all the time...

4. Sly - Massive Attack. This is such a gentle, beautiful song - dignified, almost stately. I listened to it far too often, got sick of it, but now I can cope with it again.

5. Adagio for Strings - Barber. This is the music from Platoon... which features Dr. Cox from Scrubs, which is all good. More importantly, it's also used in Rob D's clubbed to death. Which, sadly, goths and geeks rediscovered due to its use in The Matrix. BOOOOOO.

6. Gedawo - Abyssinia Infinite. This is one of the many world music / folksy things that KTB has given me, and I have failed to listen to. I shall, however, endeavour to listen to them more, not just because I adore another of their songs, Gole, but because I am off to Ethiopia in May, and as this is an Ethiopian band, that might be a good plan.

7. Where do I Begin? Chemical Brothers feat. Beth Orton. This reminds me of the time when I began to find the Chemical Brothers irritating - the whole working with noel gallagher period... Which is a shame, because I think the first album is great, particularly Life is Sweet with Tim Burgess, and this song is so sweet. Less irritating now.

8. Bring the Pain - Method Man feat. Booster. Oh, M-E-T-H-O-D man, how I used to love you. Tical I still think is great, an underrated wu-tang solo venture. Your mtv tour diary was also nuts, paranoid, and utterly terrifying and brilliant. And you bought your woman tampons in the All That I Need/I'll be there for you video. Fabulous.

9. Lost in the K-Hole - The Chemical Brothers. I have no idea why there would be two CB songs here. I don't have that many - compare to Stevie Wonder / Blur / Beatles and MANY MANY MORE.

10. Rose Rouge - St. Germain. This instantly brings to mind a walk through Central Park with my beloved and happening upon the roller disco. The crazies of the roller disco scene just bopped around in their own nutty ways to the sounds of this, my favourite St Germain tune... It was brilliant.

11. Perfect Love - Blak Twang. I feel I'm allowed to have this due to the Chemical Bros repeat. Plus, this features the beloved Lynden David Hall, a singer I adored and who sadly died very, very young. I had great hopes for Blak Twang, but they didn't really make the impact I was expecting on the British hip hop scene. Shame.

There you go. Surely not very interesting, but I'll give it a go again, whether you like it or not... and hopefully have some vaguely recent music... not that I'd manipulate it. Honestly, this is exactly how the first eleven songs came out of "shuffle"...

Monday, February 05, 2007

And if it was warm she wouldn't wear much more

Ye gods it's cold. I know, I'm a moaner, but 9F (-13C) is

Still, there are some things abounding to warm my heart. Such as the Super Bowl... not that I didn't feel sorry for the Bears, but I think their time will come again, Banana, honestly I do. They just didn't quite fire last night... but the first half was utterly ridiculous and very exciting. I also managed to prevent myself from scarfing a million bbq wings, which was an achievement. We did, however, drink Budweiser in honour of the occasion - us two Englishfolk and a German. Brilliant. Only once a year, I can just about take it - the Bud, that is, not the make up of the viewing party.

However, the real excitement was the rediscovery of my love of Prince. He was stellar last night - particularly as if I'd been him, I'd have had an enormous hissy fit and flounced off when seeing the rain and complete lack of brolly for him. Outrageous. Anyway: Prince = genius and SO much better than any other half-time entertainment I've seen thus far. Particularly enlightening, however, was how well-preserved he is. That led to a discovery that three of the icons of my youth - Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson - will all be FIFTY next year. Disconcerting, it must be said. Also weird - all three of them born withint three months of each other, and so incredibly influential in their different ways...

Therefore, short one, I salute you - and hence the post being in purple today. I could not find a way to make it paisley, sadly.

I also managed to not get mugged in Baltimore, despite it being the third most dangerous large city in the US. Whereas NYC is the fifth safest - crazy, no?

Friday, February 02, 2007


Americani-z-ation continues apace with a session of beerpong last night. For those not in the know, this is a way that underage U.S. youths can enjoy themselves in small towns where there is nothing to do. And, luckily, it turns out you can enjoy yourself in this fashion on the Upper West Side, too! Alas (but not for my liver) I left before "flipcup" started.

In other news: Anyone who's enjoyed a flourpower bakery gorgeous chocolate brownie, the amazing falafel, ostrichburgers or simply a pint at the Wheatsheaf - sign the petition! There's a chance that the amazing Borough Market will be ruined by the building of another railway viaduct through it... so please please please sign the petition if you've ever been to Borough Market - or even just watched Bridget Jones' Diary and understood how great that part of London is.